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Thread: Safe to drive if brakes are making noise?

  1. #1
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    Safe to drive if brakes are making noise?

    Hi!

    I drive a 2008 Mazda 3 and this morning on my way to work I had to make a sudden stop and when I did my brakes made a very loud grinding noise. This noise than continued as I made it the rest of the way to work. I'm planning to bring it in when I get off work, but I just want to make sure it's going to be safe enough to drive to the repair shop which is about 8 miles away.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Swollen Member Natey's Avatar
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    Brake pads have a little metal tab on them that touches the rotor as the pads wear and acts as an indicator for when your pads need changing. If it's grinding like that, chances are you need new pads. Cheap and easy. I'll bet you can do it yourself and save a few bucks!

    You're not doing any damage yet and 8 miles to the shop is nothin', but if you keep driving like that for weeks/months you're gonna wear some grooves into your brake rotors...doubling the cost and labor of slapping a new set of pads in.
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    Thank you for the insight! Very helpful. Glad to know I'll be okay driving to the shop

  4. #4
    Registered Member concept's Avatar

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    Note: The tab will often (initially) make an chirping noise at every revolution of the wheel when your foot is NOT on the brake pedal. It will typically not damage the rotor if you notice it before the tab wears all the way down and/or your pads wear out, completely. At that point, your rotors will be heavily scored. This chirping noise is more easily heard when you are slowly passing a car or other large object, since they reflect the noise back to you.
    The good news is that rotors are fairly inexpensive. When you drive to the shop, try to give yourself plenty of distance behind other vehicles so that you can brake gently. I typically have my brake fluid flushed when I have brake work done. The fluid gradually absorbs more and more moisture, which contains air. The moisture can lower the boiling point of the fluid and the air can delay braking action when the air compresses during braking.
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    Good to know! Thank you.

    I did take it for a short drive around the block during lunch and noticed the sound isn't as prominent/loud anymore. Just grinds a lot when breaking, so I did definitely have to stop sooner than I normally would and more slowly.

    From what I could hear, it just sounds like a grinding noise and something even rattles a bit when I go over small bumps on the road. Yikes.

  6. #6
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    Brake wear tabs vary by model, equipment, and year - I have not had to change any on my 2012 Mazda 3 GS, but I pulled one side at the front for examination and cleaning, and the pads did not have any tabs... when these start grinding, the pad's braking material is entirely gone and the steel backing plate is grinding into the rotor. As concept mentioned, when wear tabs first touch the chirp; they are designed to make lots of noise which usually means screeching rather than grinding. Hopefully you just have tabs that make a grinding sound.

    I hope it's going into the shop first thing in the morning, and that you are prepared to replace the rotors.

  7. #7
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    Thanks!

    I actually already brought it to the shop after work yesterday and will be getting it back today. They found out it was a broken rotor on the passenger side. So both sides (pads and rotors) are getting replaced as well as getting a brake flush.

  8. #8
    Swollen Member Natey's Avatar
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    Atta boy. Do it once and do it right.


    ...a broken rotor, huh? That's a new one for me. Where did it break? Ask the mechanic if you can take a look.
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  9. #9
    Registered Member concept's Avatar

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    It could be that the rotors were not OEM. There are some really "cheap" rotors out there that are prone to cracking due to design shortcuts.
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